Fels Institute of Government students welcomed Susan Urahn to the Public Policy in Practice speaker series on Thursday, April 23, 2021. Ms. Urahn is President and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts, an organization she has been with for over 25 years. Her background also includes work with the Minnesota House of Representatives on education legislation.
In the conversation, moderated by Distinguished Fellow Elizabeth Vale, Ms. Urahn shared how The Pew Charitable Trusts selects new projects to work on, citing the need for issues to be feasible and evidence based. She also shared a new project they launched recently working to expand the amount of ocean that's protected and explained that Pew has always been committed to environmental work.
Ms. Urahn also spoke on how she manages the culture at Pew, saying she spends much of her time focused on organizational culture. She believes organizations need to be diverse, welcoming, and inclusive which takes a lot of time and resources. To end the night, Ms. Urahn was asked what advice she would give her past self, to which she said she believes hearing the infamous Wayne Gretsky quote "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" would have served her well in her career.